Early School Days
The first schools were made of sod, stone, logs or boards. The teacher taught all the grades together in one room. In the winter it was cold indoors, because a small woodburning stove was all that heated the school. On very cold winter days, the students sat close to the stove to keep warm.
After the first settlers came to what is now Stanhope, they decided that their children should be taught the essentials of good citizenship. In 1879, Mrs. Ray Parker gathered the five children of the neighborhood and taught them to cipher and spell, read and write.
In 1879 a schoolhouse was moved to the corner one-half mile south of the present site of Stanhope. This was the Bitter Creek schoolhouse moved from Lake Center. Some of the teachers who taught here were S.D. Bute, Jackson Groves, Delila Kepler Bute and Joe Fardal. In 1893 a new school building was put up. The first principal was Mrs. Olmstead. About 1889 Belle Iverson was elected to teach and continued to teach for thirty-eight years. Only an elementary course was given until Mr. Fred Runkle became principal in 1902 and organized a first year high school course.
Early Stanhope School bus
Inside Country School - Note wood-burning stove, double seats, and lunch pails at rear of room.
Scene of a bobsled school party. Included in the party were Ester and Arnold Sealine; Ransom, Chester and Arlene Carlson; Herman and Clifford Carlstedt; Conrad Lundquist; Elma Bockwoldt, the teacher in white stocking cap.
The oldest public school in the United States is Bostons Latin School, which was founded on April 23, 1635. Five of the 56 signers of the Declaration of Independence were Latin School graduates, including Benjamin Franklin, John Hancock, Robert Treat Paine, Samuel Adams and William Hopper.
About 1898 Belle Iverson was elected to teach the primary room and taught for thirty-eight years.
Tiring of the long, tedious drive to Hook's Point to get their mail, the settlers determined in 1878 to send a request to the Postmaster General to deliver the mail closer to them. Within a short time, Mrs. Ray Parker received an appointment as postmistress to the village of Stanhope.
The post office was established in 1880. The mail was brought by carrier from Hook's Point once a week. The first post office was in the front room of the Ray Parker home. The first letter coming to the new post office was for W.R. Wilson. Hans Fardal was appointed postmaster in the early 1890's. The office was moved to the back part of the Swanson-Fardal General Store.
W.R. Wilson than took over the postmastership and moved the office to the east side of the business district. He was succeeded by his daughter, Miss Nellie Wilson.
The Pony Express was a mail delivery service that ran between Missouri and California. Using the Pony Express, mail could arrive in California in as few as 9 days rather than the weeks it took to arrive when sent by horse carriage.